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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Restaurant Owners Charged with Tax Offenses and Other Crimes

CAMDEN, N.J. – The owners of several South Jersey restaurants have been charged with harboring illegal aliens, tax offenses, making false statements to investigators and conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Ali Sher Khan, 51, of Haddon Township, New Jersey, and Ali Khan, 48, of Clementon, New Jersey, are charged in an indictment that was unsealed today.

Ali Sher Khan is charged with one count of conspiracy to evade income taxes; 20 counts of failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes for corporate entities of two Crown Fried Chicken restaurants; three counts of income tax evasions for years 2014 through 2016; one count of harboring illegal aliens; one count of unlawful employment of aliens; and one count of making false statements to the IRS and FBI. He made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider and was released on $250,000 unsecured bond.

Ali Khan is charged with one count of conspiracy to evade income taxes; 10 counts of failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes for corporate entities of two Crown Fried Chicken restaurants; three counts of income tax evasion for the years 2014 through 2016; one count of harboring illegal aliens; and one count of unlawful employment of aliens. He will make his initial appearance at a future date.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Ali Sher Khan and Ali Khan, along with others, operated two Crown Fried Chicken restaurants in Camden. Ali Sher Khan and other individuals also operated a Crown Fried Chicken restaurant in Burlington Township, New Jersey. 

Ali Sher Khan, Ali Khan and their conspirators allegedly employed illegal aliens at the restaurants. Those employees were paid in cash, and Ali Sher Khan and Ali Khan failed to deduct payroll taxes from the employees’ pay, as required by law. When Ali Sher Khan and Ali Khan caused payroll tax forms to be filed with the IRS, those forms did not accurately reflect the number of employees working the restaurant. Ali Sher Khan and Ali Khan failed to pay over to the IRS the correct amount of payroll taxes. They under-reported $1,055,498 in payroll taxes for the two Camden restaurants and $648,837 in payroll taxes for the Burlington restaurant, causing a tax loss to the government of $308,742. Ali Sher Khan and one of his other business partners allowed the illegal alien employees to live in residences that they owned, and they did not report the rent paid by the employees on their business or personal income tax returns.

From 2013 to 2016, Ali Sher Khan and Ali Khan took substantial amounts of cash out of the businesses and did not report it on their income tax returns. Ali Sher Khan did not disclose to the IRS on his personal tax return $831,517 in income from the Crown Fried Chicken restaurants, causing a tax loss of $252,131. Ali Khan did not report or otherwise disclose to the IRS on his personal tax return $394,894 in income from the Crown Fried Chicken restaurants, causing a tax loss of $113,836. 

When Ali Sher Khan was questioned by special agents of the IRS and the FBI, he falsely denied operating the Crown Fried Chicken businesses, hiring or firing the employees at these businesses, and signing any tax documents related to the businesses. He also falsely stated that he never supplied information to the businesses’ account for the tax returns.

The conspiracy count, tax evasion counts, failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes count, and false statements count each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The harboring illegal aliens count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The unlawful employment of aliens count carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a $3,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez; special agents of the FBI Cherry Hill Resident Agency under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll                in Philadelphia; and special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Cherry Hill, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked officers of the New York City Police Department, for its assistance with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason M. Richardson and Sara Aliabadi of the U.S. Attorney=s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Tax
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
20-317
Updated September 23, 2020